Traditional Beef Lasagne

My mother would make lasagne for special occasions, Christmas and Easter, and I loved watching her make it.  Especially, the process of all those layers piling on top of each other and resulting in this beautiful, delicious, and moreish dish. I haven’t quite perfected the way she used to make it but it’s pretty close. Enjoy!


Bechamel Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour, all purpose or plain
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup fresh shredded parmesan


  • 375 grams fresh lasagna sheets
  • 500 grams fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 200 grams leg ham, chopped

Bolognaise Sauce

  • 1000 grams ground beef mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 700 grams Passata
  • 410 grams crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
  • 3 heaped tablespoons tomato paste


  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley


To make the Bolognaise Sauce

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add in the onion and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until softened.
  2. Add in the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add beef and pork (if using) and cook while breaking it up with the end of your spoon, until browned.
  4. Pour in the Passata, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and dried herbs.
  5. Mix well to combine and bring to a gentle simmer.
  6. Season with desired amount of salt and pepper and sugar.
  7. Cover and cook for about 30-40 minutes, occasionally mixing, until the sauce has thickened slightly and meat is tender.

Bechamel Sauce

  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Remove from hot plate; add the flour and whisk for about 30 seconds, or until well blended.
  3. Place pot back onto stove, reduce heat down to low and slowly whisk in 1 cup of the milk until well combined.
  4. Once well blended, add the remaining milk in 1 cup increments, mixing well after each addition, until all the milk is used and sauce is free from lumps.
  5. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk until it turns into a nice and creamy consistency.
  6. Increase heat to medium and continue cooking sauce while stirring occasionally until it thickens (about 6-7 minutes) and coats the back of your wooden spoon.
  7. Add in the parmesan cheese and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper and mix until the cheese is melted through.

To make the Lasagne

  1. Preheat oven to 180°F.
  2. Spoon about 1 cup of the bolognaise sauce on the base of a 9x13-inch baking dish, then cover with lasagna sheets. (Trim sheets to fit over the meat if needed.)
  3. Layer with 2 cups of bolognaise sauce (or enough to cover pasta), 1 cup of bechamel sauce, a sprinkle of shredded ham and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers (leaving the remaining cheese for the top).
  4. Pour the remaining meat sauce and white sauce over the last layer of lasagna sheets and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
  6. Garnish with parsley and let stand for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.